The Popcorn Stand: World Championship of Professional Football |

The Popcorn Stand: World Championship of Professional Football

The World Championship of Professional Football, otherwise known as the Super Bowl, is being played on Sunday. Then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle hated the name Super Bowl.

Rozelle wanted it to be called a World Championship in similar fashion to how Major League Baseball referred to its championship as the World Series.

But then-Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt came up with the “nickname” Super Bowl after he watched his son play with a popular toy at the time, the “Super Ball.” Hunt liked the name “bowl” because it was more in line with college football’s New Year’s Day games — the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl.

Anyway, there was a time when the Super Bowl was played in mid-January and the World Series finished well before Halloween. I’m still trying to get used to this. As far as I’m still concerned, no meaningful football games should be played in August or February and no meaningful baseball games should be played in November.

I’ve written about this before, but it’s at these times I’m glad I live on the West Coast. I can’t imagine having to wait until 6:30 p.m. and not having the game end until past 10 to watch the Super Bowl. It’s bad enough having to wait until 3:30 p.m. for the game to start.

I also want to bring back the marching bands at halftime. Thanks to “In Living Color,” that will never happen. FOX aired a shortened version of “In Living Color” to go up against the Super Bowl at halftime. The Super Bowl’s ratings tanked at halftime, so now we have these over-produced, half-hour halftime marathons that are about as entertaining to this old fuddy, duddy as watching paint dry.

Although the U2 halftime show during the first Super Bowl after 9/11 was pretty cool.

In the end the Super Bowl — good and bad — demonstrates how America, if not the greatest country in the world, is certainly the most unique country in the world.

As Yogi Berra said when told once about a story that happened in Ireland, “Only in America.”

— Charles Whisnand